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J Homosex. 1987;14(1-2):201-11.

Clinical implications of lesbian mother studies.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles.


Recent surveys of lesbians have revealed that one-third have been heterosexually married, and one-half of these have had children. Studies comparing lesbian mothers and their children with divorced heterosexual mothers and their children provide data of value to clinicians preparing to evaluate or treat members of this population. Studies show similarities between the two groups in marital history, pregnancy history, child-rearing attitudes, and lifestyle. Motherhood, not sexual orientation, is the most salient factor in both group's identity. Lesbian mothers had more congenial relations with ex-spouses and included men more regularly in their children's lives. Coupled lesbians had greater economic and emotional resources and provided children with a richer family life than did mothers of either group living alone with children. No difference in frequency not type of psychological problem was found in the children. Children benefited from group discussions to relieve anxiety about changes in their lives and in their mothers' sexual orientation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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